Tag Archives: Business

How closely is your strategy aligned with your values and beliefs?

28 Dec

Your values and beliefs are the foundation on which your insights, perceptions, and resulting decisions are based.

It has often been said that once you know “Why,”… “What,” and “How,”  become much easier to determine and decide.

At any point have you found yourself feeling that you need to violate your principles?

Some values and beliefs are learned and others may be inborn; in either case they do not change quickly or easily.  It is imperative that your strategy is congruent with your fundamental values and beliefs.

Strategy does not usually change quickly or easily.  Tactics however, can be changed with relative ease.  If your strategy is in poor alignment with your values and beliefs, your tactics won’t produce the results you desire.  You can always  modify your tactical activities but you shouldn’t be quick to alter your strategy (unless it needs to become better aligned with your values).

Do you proactively map your strategy and tactics against your values?

Begin with the end in mind, form your strategy, plan yourtactics, and allow yourself the opportunity to make sure that your strategy is in close alignment with your core values and beliefs.  Otherwise, everything is much harder than necessary and no matter how much you accomplish you will not feel satisfied or fulfilled.

What should you consider changing?  Where should you begin?  

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Business Relationship Status: “It’s Complicated?”

22 Mar

Good relationships require mutual trust and good communication.  The described “status,” of a relationship is a direct reflection of it’s quality in the view of the person describing it.

Great relationships can happen online and the parties involved can regularly communicate this way, but it is nearly impossible to actually cultivate and maintain a “great,” relationship exclusively online.  Relationships usually require some offline, personal interaction and face to face engagement to become or remain “great.”

Imagine spouses communicating with each other exclusively via email, text message, or on their social network profiles… It is hard to imagine a healthy relationship surviving exclusively in this sphere.  Most business relationships aren’t any different.  If you communicate with someone exclusively via email, text message, instant messenger, etc., what type of quality do you really have in the relationship?

In an increasingly hectic and demanding professional world, we can all benefit from using online means of interaction to improve our ability to communicate more frequently with our relationships.  However, we must also be careful not to forsake the value of offline interaction.

Quality in our customer, employee, and vendor relationships benefits from personal conversation, periodic face to face meetings, or a social activity where goodwill and trust are built and maintained.

Facebook users are given the option of describing and openly displaying their “relationship status,” to provide an outward indication of their:

1) Availability

2) Happiness/Satisfaction

3) Commitment/Loyalty

4) Intent

What if our customers, vendors, and employees had their business relationship status with us openly displayed for review?  What would it say?

What if we relied so heavily on online communication that this became our best chance of really understanding their perspective on the quality of our relationship?

Depending on your business or industry there may be some discrepancy, but the table below is an approximation of the business equivalents of  some common Facebook “Relationship Statuses.”

Business Relationship Status Equivalents

Don’t be so busy that you let the quality of your relationships suffer.

Pick up the phone and tell someone that you appreciate them or that they are doing a great job.  Better yet go see them in person and tell them face to face.  Invite someone you care about to do something fun or interesting with you.  Take some time to get to know somebody better and begin a great relationship.

These actions create memories for both of you.

View this as a communication strategy, or just consider it as “a way of doing business.”

For assistance with evaluating, managing or improving business relationships contact us:

Getting maximum value from your intellectual property?

4 Jan

What is intellectual property?

Technology, trade secrets, business processes, logos, patents, trademarks, and copyrights are some of the various types of intellectual property owned and used by companies in the course of doing business.

How can you determine if you are currently getting maximum value from your intellectual property?

Begin by creating an inventory or list of anything and everything that you believe may be an asset.  Once you have created this inventory, classify or segment the list by separating those items which you believe are proprietary to your organization.  Initially, this can be done by asking yourself and (if appropriate) other members of your team to identify others who may be using the same or similar type(s) of assets.

If you currently have patents, trademarks, or copyrights registered (or pending registration) then you have already begun this process whether you realize it or not.  If this is the case, then hopefully your attorney or legal advisor has conducted the appropriate research prior to filing for registration.  If not, the value and scope of your protected rights might be severely diminished.  Identifying and assessing potential IP assets more thoroughly allows many businesses to unlock significant value and in many cases can generate exponential increases in profitability without incurring significant costs associated with innovation, research and development, and marketing.

What about intellectual property that you haven’t identified or taken proper measures to protect?

This is something that many businesses (in all stages of growth and levels of maturity) routinely fail to prioritize because its potential impact on their bottom line isn’t properly considered or understood.

10 Questions to begin assessing your current IP portfolio and its potential benefits –

  1. Which designs, practices, formulas, instruments, processes, systems, recipes, patterns, ideas, technology, etc. create or add value to your business?
  2. Which of these assets have you properly identified and protected?
  3. Are other businesses or individuals using the same (or similar) assets in full or in part?
  4. Do you possess sufficient knowledge and skills to estimate the potential value of your IP assets, or should we seek outside advice?
  5. Do you have agreements in place which allow others to use our IP in exchange for appropriate compensation or other tangible benefit(s)?
  6. What are their alternatives to using our IP assets?
  7. Are you currently realizing appropriate benefit(s) from other’s use of our IP assets?
  8. Who else might benefit from using your IP assets in the same, similar or entirely different ways than we currently use them?
  9. What is the potential value to these other parties of using your IP assets?
  10. Now that you have answered some or all of these questions – How should you proceed?

For more information about identifying, evaluating, and leveraging intellectual property contact us: